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Be a beaver believer

Posted on Apr 24, 2023 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding The United States’ national bird is the bald eagle; our national mammal is the American bison. It’s time for us to give the beaver its due and declare the waterway engineer as our official national rodent. Some may disagree, saying we already have the groundhog. Granted, the pasture poodle even has its… Continue reading.

Turkeys aweigh

Posted on Oct 29, 2022 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding I once asked an audience what group was responsible for the initial reintroduction of the Eastern Wild Turkey to Indiana. The answers ranged from the “National Wild Turkey Federation” to the “U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service” to the “Audubon Society” and even “The Boy Scouts.” No one came up with the right… Continue reading.

Return of the eagle

Posted on Jul 22, 2022 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding Driving along the Big Flatrock River in Rush County, I had the exhilarating experience of seeing a fully mature bald eagle soaring across an open field. No mistaking the huge size, dark body and brilliantly white head of our nation’s emblem. Earlier in the year, I was mesmerized as an eagle perched… Continue reading.

Assume all ice is thin ice

Posted on Jan 25, 2022 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding Indiana ice fishermen watched the last days of 2021 go by with spring-like temperatures and not a sign of fishable ice. January edged in at first with similar warmth but finally dropped into ice-forming temperatures. Ice fishermen have become impatient waiting for “first ice” and the chance for ice fishing. Day-to-day up… Continue reading.

‘Rocky and his friends’ …

Posted on Nov 05, 2021 in Outdoors

Over the years of writing my column, I have received many letters and emails from readers. On occasion, the correspondences can be a little squirrely; however, one of the latest I received was way squirrely… but in a really neat way. It was an email from husband and wife Randy and Terri Allen of West… Continue reading.

Sustenance afield

Posted on Jul 26, 2021 in Outdoors

BY JACK SPAULDING As long as mankind has hunted, fished and foraged, someone has always brought along something fairly edible to help stave off hunger and starvation. In ancient times, folks went afield with jerky, pemmican and leather bags of parched corn. Sucking on a mouthful of over-cooked, blackened corn has pretty much fallen out… Continue reading.

Turkey Buzzard’s Vicious Cousin

Posted on Apr 22, 2021 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding When traveling through Shelby County recently, I came across two large birds dining on roadkill just off of a county road. At first, I thought they were common turkey buzzards. But as I got closer, I realized they weren’t and quickly identified them. They were black and appeared to have less of… Continue reading.

Trapper Jack

Posted on Jan 22, 2021 in Outdoors

Note to readers: Jack Spaulding has just released his second full-length book. In “Coon Hunter and the Kid,” Jack shares tales of a rural Midwestern boy’s journey to manhood and the lifelong bonds and lessons learned on the hunting trail. For this month’s column, we present an excerpt. As a young boy, I considered myself… Continue reading.

‘The Bears of Blue River’ … revisited?

Posted on Oct 26, 2020 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding For more than a century, the tales of frontier teenager Balser Brent and his adventures with bears, guns and Native American treasure along Indiana’s Blue River in the 1800s left generations of young Hoosiers spellbound. But the sad reality for those hoping to track and trap a bear: Black bears had vanished… Continue reading.

Home Restoration

Posted on Jul 22, 2020 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding A slightly forlorn tone tinged my wife’s voice when she said, “There is something in the garage I want to show you.” As I walked into the garage, I saw, lying on one of my work tables, a wide light maple branch holding a small woven bird’s nest containing three tiny ivory… Continue reading.

Quoth the cardinal

Posted on Apr 23, 2020 in Outdoors

By Jack Spaulding Once, on a late afternoon, I was sitting in my upstairs office writing my latest column of outdoors lore when suddenly, I was surprised to hear a tap, as if someone had gently rapped, upon my second story back door. Since even our family and close friends use the front door, the… Continue reading.

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